How to Make Perfume




About: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and likes to be in the centre of things, so you will see him in several of my instr...

Why spend a fortune on perfume or cologne when you can make your own for cheap. Brand name perfume/cologne can cost from $50-100, why spend that much when you can create your own fragrance with vodka and essential oils.

Instead of wearing a fragrance that everyone else wears you can make your own unique blend. Your own aromatic creations also makes a thoughtful gift.

Step 1: What You Need:


  • Vodka (the higher percentage alcohol the better) or Everclear if you can get it
  • Essential oils*, fragrance oils**, infused oils, even flavour*** extracts (make sure it's pure) such as vanilla extract
  • distilled or spring water
  • glycerine (this can be found in pharmacies)

Other stuff

  • pretty glass bottles to put the finished product in, preferably coloured glass, reuse bottles or find them at the dollar store.
  • glass jar for mixing fragrance in
  • measuring cup/spoons
  • a dropper if you have one
  • funnel
  • aluminum foil or wrapping paper if you are using clear glass bottles
  • a pencil and paper for jotting down your recipe
  • a discerning nose is helpful

*You can also make your own perfume oil Be a Romantic Scientist: Distill your own perfume oil.

**Fragrance oils are synthetic and are less expensive than essential oils.

***Quite a few perfumes use food flavours in them, so extracts are an easy way of incorporating them into your own creations.

Step 2: Preparing Bottles

Sterilize the bottles and jars in the dish washer, especially if you are reusing bottles. They need to be clean and sterile.

Step 3: Add the Alcohol

Measure 1/4 cup of vodka/Everclear and pour into jar.

Step 4: A Note About Scents

I've included a few words about scents, if you want to launch right into concocting your perfume skip ahead to the next step.

In perfumes the fragrance can be divided into three different notes depending on when they arise.

Top note: The initial scent when you put the perfume on, then disappears, they include; lemon, orange, grapefruit, lime, bergamot, spearmint, peppermint and others.

Middle note: This scent appears just after the top note disappears. Scents like; coriander, palmarosa, marjoram, basil, rosemary, rose geranium, pettitgrain, lavender and others.

Base note: This appears after the middle note and is the base of the perfume, they include; patchouli, vetiver, frankincense, cedarwood, sandalwood and others.

When you are mixing your perfume start by adding your base notes, then middle then your top notes.

Scents can be divided into different families such as floral, oriental, woody and fresh (such as citrus, etc) See wheel below. This is lovely but why do we need to know this? When you are mixing your perfume,adding scents from neighboring families creates harmony in you perfume.

Brand name perfume/cologne
There is a website which identifies the different components of brand name fragrances, so if you would like make an imitation of your favorite perfume/cologne check it out; basenotes Fragrance directory

For example:
Obsession Fragrance Notes

Top Notes
  • Mandarin, Bergamot, Jasmine, Rose, Orange Blossoms.
Middle Notes
  • Coriander, Tagete, Armoise.
Base Notes
  • Amber, Oakmoss.
Some of these scents may be a bit hard to find. (?armoise)

Aromatherapy involves using scents to affect mood and well being, if you would like to consider this when blending your fragrance, check out Aromatherapy for Emotional Well-Being

Men's Cologne
Guys, don't feel left out, try scents from the woody or fresh families to make a nice manly cologne.

Step 5: Add You Scents

This is where the magic begins...

Add approximately 25 drops of essential/fragrance oil.

Take one scent ;
  • add a few drops
  • swirl
  • smell
  • add more or continue on
  • write down the oil and number of drops
Take the next scent and repeat as above until you have added the approximate number of drops. Feel free to add more or less to create the desired fragrance.

If you are just starting out and don't know which scents to try. You can divided the alcohol into smaller volumes and try different combination, experiment, be creative, have fun with it.

Step 6: Let It Age

Once you are happy with the fragrance that you've created it is time to let it age. Place it in a cool dark location for a minimum of 48 hours, up to a month.

Aging your fragrance allows the scents to mingle, and also become stronger. Once you have aged your fragrance for the desired length of time, smell it again, the mingling may have changed the overall scent, so feel free to add a few more drops of scent to tweak it (don't forget you will need to age it again, if more scent was added).

Step 7: Add Water and Glycerine

Now that the fragrance is ready, it needs to be diluted.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of distilled/spring water. If you are making a perfume spray, add more water.
  • Add approximately 5 drops of glycerine, this helps preserve the fragrance.

Step 8: Finishing Up

Pour the perfume into your bottle, use a funnel if you need to. If you are using clear bottles, you will need to cover them with aluminum foil or wrapping paper (your fragrance needs to be protected from the light or it will go off).
Add a label, decorate it, give it a fancy name and be happy that you saved a lot of money!

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325 Discussions


Question 5 weeks ago

Vodka as ingredient in making perfume, is it the kind we drink?

1 answer

Answer 5 weeks ago

Yes, it is use for the high percentage of alcohol and it is easy to find. You could use perfumers alcohol if you can find it.


7 weeks ago

I know which ingredients to put in my perfume. How do I know how much drops of what?


7 weeks ago on Step 8

Wow! What a beautiful article. This is very educating, thank you.
I have an issue with my perfumes leaving stains on clothes, particularly when I try to make it last longer.
Please, what should I do to get pass this?


Question 2 months ago on Step 3

Could you substitute 91% isopropyl alcohol for the everclear?

1 answer

Answer 7 weeks ago

IPA has a very offensive smell and not recommended for perfumes, no matter the amount of fragrance one adds to it, its small will overpower the fragrance. It happened to me three years ago.


Question 2 months ago

i want to make perfume from orange but i have no idea about scents would u help me to figure out about them

1 answer

Answer 2 months ago

Well you could collect Orange peels lots of them and distill with ethanol or you could extract it from sugar (Artifical orange powder drinks) with ethanol and freeze-fracture the starches and sugars out. Better off with the Oranges - fresh.

I did this with Lemon Pie extract- Low sugars and starches and smells like Lemons.


2 years ago

94 proof alcohol can be very expensive. I can get 95% ethanol for the drug Pharmacy for 3 dollars per 500 ml. It only requires 15-20 ml of ethanol. So this is fine for me. As long as you don't ingest the perfume everything will be OK.

4 replies

Reply 4 months ago

Whenever you put perfume or cologne on your skin, the skin absorbs the alcohol. That IS ALSO INGESTING IT, just not orally. Putting Methanol on your skin can still cause death and/or blindness there same as drinking it.... Your choice, however.


Reply 4 months ago

Sugars even with ethanol carmalize and eventually coat the distiller. In the future, I will use purer methods of cleaning the boiling flask. It a real pain using conc sulfuric acid and soap to try to clean it. The issue debris get baked onto the flask and it next to impossible to clean them --- I have thrown out flasks over years due to this. Yes, dilute Prana solution (H202 and sulfuric acid) can work but that an explosive potential that I am not willing to take.


Reply 4 months ago

Well it a good point but I would use ethanol medical use not stuff with Methanol. It a practice of putting on a very small amount. Ethanol that denatured and does not contain methanol is quite safe. Unless you drink it. Yes ethanol is toxic but maybe 30 ml around a large area your entire skin or less than 5 ml of the stuff.

I found the herbs require refining --- filtration, freeze seperation at -20 deg C or even centrifuging it works very well too. Tip.


Reply 4 months ago

Sugars even with ethanol carmalize and eventually coat the distiller. In the future I will use purer methods of cleaning the boiling flask. It a real pain using conc sulfuric acid and soap to try to clean it. The issue debris get baked onto the flask and it next to impossible to clean them --- I have thrown out flasks over years due to this. Yes dilute Prana solution (H202 and sulfuric acid) can work but that a explosive potential that I am not willing to take.


2 years ago

I have made cream soda tang perfume, Dr.Pepper perfume (with cream soda and tang) and many tea extractions perfumes. Does anyone know how to preserve the odor naturally longer?

4 replies

Reply 4 months ago

Instead of cream soda, use a good vanilla extract. Cream soda IS vanilla soda (at least it was originally)


Reply 4 months ago

Yes, I tried sugars of banana extract in alcohol, then boiling allowing it to cool, filtering and freezing at -20 deg. Ethanol and sugars crash out at cold temps a bit. If you can get a product that is not too expensive then yes. I was starting by scratch with this.

eBay may have pure extracts cheaply which could at high concentration be extracted but it requires DCM, etc and it quite difficult for ameratures. You can easily get emulsions too.


Reply 2 years ago

No since all the sugars in the Pop are left behind in the distiller flask 1 L and the aromas of the pop can be smelled.


2 years ago


why Vodka is nesseserry?

a 94% pure alcohol is not recomended?